And to do just that I bring you a brief funky Q&A with Charlotte Stein regarding her book CONTROL. Huzzah!
SM: You'll pardon me, Charlotte, if these are some goofy questions, but there has been some wine. So the obvious choice was to sit down and write your questions for Control now! Duh!
I loved this book. I loved it, loved it, loved it so much I was ready to turn to page 1 after finishing the book. I laughed, I cried, I almost fell off my exercise bike (no shit) and yes...I got um...well, the man got a lot of action during this book. So here are my questions, bear with me.
Who is Andy? Who! Who? Because there is a scene in Control where Andy so very much debases himself (not like him) that I literally snorted so hard I choked. I want to know the visual for you when you wrote that very snarky, sexy, bad-bad boy.
CS: Some version of Alex O'Loughlin. It had to be Alex O'Loughlin, because by God that dudes looks as though he'd be up for just about anything. He has this weird mixture of forceful passion and laidback-who-gives-a-fuck that I've always found very beguiling, and of course - it contrasted nicely with Gabriel's repression and restraint.
My faux-Alex is probably going to be the star of one of my upcoming novels - Addicted. Because he makes an almost perfect sex addict. Insane enough about it to make it orsum, laidback enough that you don't worry.
SM: I know who Gabriel is, your version is so not who he was in my head (the beauty of erotica, if you ask me) but can you fill in my ever so nosy readers?
CS: Gabriel is based loosely on Gabriel Gray, from the TV show Heroes. Only you know. Way, way hornier. And not secretly a serial killer.
SM: Why submissive men? What is it about the sub man that flips your switch? I tend to love the Dom's but you managed to make the sub man work for me. How did you do that you witchy woman?
CS: I don't know, really. I've always just loved what I now know as femdom, and I remember it being a huge, huge disappointment to me, as a teenager, to realise that other women don't like the kinds of stories I do. I loved Black Lace books, but for a long time I couldn't get over how rare it was to find submissive men in them. I thought it was natural, to explore in fantasy what is often so reviled in reality - a strong woman, and a passive man. And then I grew up and realised that fantasy has almost nothing to do with reality. It's just whatever you like, and that can be just about anything - even for me. I can enjoy stories about submissive women just as much as I enjoy submissive men stories - as long as it's done well.
As for what flips my switch about it...I think my main kink is the idea of a man being completely unable to control himself. Not in a "I'm going to take you now" sort of way. More in a "fook, I just came buckets all over myself" kind of manner. I've never liked the stereotypical sort of femdom where the guy is all thin and weak and pathetic, grovelling on the floor of a cage while hogtied, as his Mistress stands over him in thigh high boots. I like very real scenarios that just so happen to have a reversed power dynamic - it's the woman who's objectifying, who's controlling the scenario, who's taking something she wants, etc.
As for why you don't mind it...well...at the very least I try to make my heroes hot. I think whether it's femdom or not, there's something very appealing about getting to do whatever you want want with some hot dude.
SM: Outfit you feel sexiest in?
CS: My birthday suit.
SM: Outfit you find him sexiest in?
CS: Sweatpants and nothing else. No underwear. No top. Lemme see what you've got, babe.
SM: Sexiest matching outfits (heh) with accessories, even!
CS: Well, Husband and I do have matching dressing gowns. But they're not cool. They're not sexy. There are things in the pockets that have probably been there for years. They looks like someone skinned an animal called a Blurto to make them...no.
SM: What are you working on now? Can you give us a peek? A snippet? A clue!?
CS: I am working on (in no particular order):
Power Play: workplace shenanigans, in which the boss of a publishing company takes serious advantage of her assistant. Because he's a horny bastard who makes her.
Nameless: Set in the same world as Reawakening. Zombies take over, girl finds herself locking horns with the usual redneck lowlife apocalypse asshole, can't stop having accidental red hot sex with him.
Future Pursuits: Sequel to Past Pleasures.
Menage: Friends do some naughty things. Meet up years later. Can't help doing them again.
Love Letters: Wife discovers her husband bonked a guy in college. The revelation sends their sex life through the roof, enter stage right the guy he bonked who also happens to be the most charming motherfooker to ever grace the earth.
SM: How will you be spending your holidays and does it involve a man like Gabriel in sexy women's underthings?
CS: I've asked Santa for that very thing, but somehow I suspect he's not going to come through for me. I'll probably be spending it like usual: seven hundred hours logged on the DS, a million plates of beetroot and ham eaten while watching various sitcoms, loads of books read on my Kindle, Husband asking me a thousand times if I liked my presents even though I always do because he's orsum.
SM: Will you come visit me and go shopping?
CS: YES! YES I WANT TO DO THIS PLEASE WE WILL GO TO THE SHOPS YES YES. Hooray!
SM: Chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon?
CS: Cinnamon. If they made a thing called a cinnamon bar, and it was basically cinnamon dust compressed into a log, I would eat it. I would eat nothing else forever - I forsake you, chocolate. My heart will always belong to cinnamon.
And if you were asking a secret sex question: also cinnamon. That means shoving it up his bum, right?
When Madison Morris decides to hire an assistant to help run her naughty bookshop, she gets a lot more than she bargained for. Aggressive Andy doesn’t quite make the grade, but continues to push her buttons in other areas, while uptight and utterly repressed Gabriel can’t quite take Madison’s training techniques. One makes her grasp control, while the other makes her lose it. But the lines are blurring and she’s no longer sure who’s leading and who’s following. In the midst of kinky threesomes and power plays, can Madison work out what she really wants?
THE FIRST APPLICANT FOR the assistant job is very promising indeed. He puts his head between my thighs with minimal supervision and almost no prompting.
The only problem is I don’t recall creating an oral presentation portion of the interview. Or, for that matter, a portion that requires the answer: you know you want it. To a question I don‟t remember asking.
But I guess I must have asked for something, or none of it would have happened. Maybe it was all the staring I did, at the curling many-coloured tattoos all over his heavy-looking arms. Or the way I bristled beneath the weight of his deep blue gaze. I must have leant forward, and asked about his previous job experience in a way that suggested an underlying code.
Job meant sex. Experience meant now.
It was sharp of him, really, to understand. He got a cross in the interview attire column-such a thin, barely-there T-shirt!-but he got a big tick in the takes initiative and the understands subtle instructions columns.
I don’t think I got any ticks, in the cool, calm, controlling boss columns, unfortunately. But can’t I be forgiven? He looked like liquid sex and I can’t remember the last time I had anything even remotely resembling a drink. Or resembling a hard, solid body over mine. Or resembling the scent of someone besides myself, all over me-the slick slide of a tongue against my skin.
It’s probable that some of these needs showed on my face. And though I’m sure that some people are of the mind that women who wear neat little pleated skirts and boxy corduroy jackets-the uniform of bookstore owners and librarians everywhere-are bookish and quiet and quite dull, there’s probably an equal amount who view said women as repressed cauldrons of lust.
I’m pretty sure he sensed my boiling cauldron.